Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid will look to keep up a thirteen year record of not losing their opening home La Liga match when Valladolid travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.
The Los Blancos boss has also voiced out that he would be counting on Gareth Bale to keep delivering for Los Merengues as a hamstring injury continues to prevent marquee summer signing Eden Hazard from making his La Liga debut for Real Madrid.
On match day one, the Belgian’s absence was not felt at Balaidos as a Bale inspired Real Madrid powered their way to a 1-3 success over Celta Vigo, despite having to play the majority of the second half with ten men following Luka Modric’s controversial dismissal.
Gareth Bale, handed a surprise start by boss Zinedine Zidane, shone the brightest despite not scoring with Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez all getting themselves on the scoresheet.
Saturday’s guests were surprising 2-1 winners at Real Betis on the opening weekend of the La Liga Santander recording a fine start to the campaign.
Their task at Benito Villamarin was made significantly easier when Betis keeper Joel Robles saw red just eight minutes in, but Valladolid were worth the victory following a good display of counter attacking football.
Valladolid’s objective this term is obvious: aspire to better last season’s 16th place finish.
Eden Hazard is still out injured and aside from the suspended Modric, Real’s line-up should remain unchanged for Valladolid’s visit.
Real Madrid have not lost their opening home La Liga match in 13 years.
Real have won eight of the last nine meetings between the sides (one draw), hitting four goals on five occasions in that sequence including their 1-4 success at Jose Zorrilla when the teams last met in March.
Los Merengues also beat Valladolid 2-0 on home soil last term with the minimum of fuss.
Real Madrid have won their last 6 home matches against Real Valladolid in all competitions.
Real Madrid should dispatch Valladolid with no fuse whatsoever.
Real Madrid win with over 2.5 goals is also a likely outcome.